National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (National Fuel) has submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission its quarterly adjustment to gas supply charges. This adjustment increases the monthly bill of a typical residential customer with annual usage of 100,300 cubic feet of gas by $1.14, from $66.51 to $67.65. This 1.71 percent increase is to become effective Feb. 1, 2020.
Resulting from the abundant supply of Marcellus Shale gas and benefitting northwestern Pennsylvania homes and businesses, market prices for natural gas remain at 11-year lows. Nearly all of the gas consumed by National Fuel utility customers comes from Pennsylvania-produced shale gas.
National Fuel’s price-to-compare gas commodity charge also will increase to $0.35918 per 100 cubic feet (ccf). This reference point, detailed on the National Fuel bill under Gas Supply Charges, is important for customers who are shopping for an alternate gas supplier.
Gas supply charges are passed along to customers dollar for dollar, with no mark-up or profit to National Fuel. Pennsylvania utility companies are permitted to update gas supply charges on a quarterly basis to reflect changes in the market price of natural gas. The next opportunity to adjust gas supply charges will be May 1, 2020.
As the result of cost-containment efforts and efficient management, National Fuel hasn’t sought to increase the delivery service charges paid by its residential customers in more than 11 years, even while consistent investments in pipeline safety and system modernization have continued.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, is open. Eligibility for this federally funded program is based on income guidelines and household size. For example, a family of four with a gross annual income of $38,625 may qualify for a grant. Monies are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, visit LIHEAP Help or contact 1-877-443-2743.
National Fuel customers who are having trouble paying their bills are encouraged to call Customer Service at 1-800-365-3234 to discuss available payment programs and services. Programs include:
- Budget Plan- predictable monthly gas bills and stabilized heating payments for the year
- Deferred Payment Agreement- customers can negotiate a payment plan in the event of a special circumstance
- LIRA- reduced-rate monthly bills and debt forgiveness
- LIURP- weatherization assistance for customers who meet income and consumption requirements
- CARES- payment arrangements and assistance referrals for customers facing hardships
- Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund- helps customers who are having difficulty paying bills and who meet one of the following criteria: at least 55 years old, a veteran, disabled, have a certified medical condition, or receiving unemployment benefits, meet basic energy needs